Charles Dickens was one of the most influential and greatest novelists/writers ever born during the Victorian era. He was born on February 7, 1812 in Land Port (Portsea), Hampshire to Mr John Dickens, who was a clerk in the Navy Pay Office and to Ms Elizabeth. Charles was second of the eight children in the Dickens family.
His family moved to London in 1814, when he was just two years old. Later on, the family moved to Kingdom of Kent in 1816, where he spent early years of his childhood.
His parents taught him reading, writing, and also contributed in development of his intellectual capabilities.
From early age, he was interested in reading books and had his own small collection in his room. He read books of Robinson Crusoe, Roderick Random, Humphrey Clinker, Don Quixote, etc.
Charles attended a school at Clover Lane, Chatham for about two years. Later his family moved to Bayham Street, Camden Town where he was admitted to a school with very strict rules and regulations.
Near 1822-23, economical condition of his family worsened and he was forced to discontinue his schooling. He was sent to earn money in a blacking warehouse, Hungerford Market, London for about two years.
His family was kept in Marshalea debtor's prison. During the last two years of labor, he faced humiliation, evil social treatment, and other poor social conditions, that incited him to work against the situation he was living in.
Taking Different Jobs
In 1824, he studied at Wellington House Academy, London for next two years and in 1827, he attended Mr. Dawson's School. During the period from 1827 to 1828, he worked as an office boy at a Law Office.
During this time, he never gave up his interest of reading, and always managed to get some time for reading after work. From 1830, he worked as a shorthand reporter at Doctor's Commons. Being a reporter at 19, he became a perfectionist and was known for his accuracy in writing.
He became a parliamentary reporter and worked for True Son, a magazine, and later for Mirror of Parliament, a chronicle.
While working as reporter, he wrote short stories, essays, and drew sketches. His comic character Mr. Pickwick appeared in papers and became very popular, bringing Charles a very high reputation in 1836.
In the same year, he was married to Catherine, who was a daughter of George Hogarth.
From 1837 till 1841, Charles took on writing novels, but they were published in parts instead of whole at a time. He wrote novels like Oliver Twist, Nicholas Nickelby, and Old Curiosity Shop.
From 1841 to 1860, he wrote few more novels, which were very much based on his personal experience. David Copperfield, Bleak House, and A Tale of Two Cities Great Expectations, are among his famous work of that period.
He also took part in protests and campaigns against social injustice, hypocrisy in the society, and wrote stories, pamphlets and plays in that context. Till 1868, he traveled to many places.
He gave lectures in the US and England. While doing all this, he continued his work and wrote numerous novels, books, and plays as well. His work includes fiction, mystery, and satirical writing on the social condition.
Charles died on June 9, 1870 at Gadshill Place near Rochester, Kent, where he lived for about 10 years.